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Beware Bargains on Black Friday

Black Friday is the day of the year where sales go crazy. Originally from the USA, the biggest sales day of the year has come to the UK in the past few years.

Black Friday is the name given to the Friday after Thanksgiving in the US when shops slash their prices to seemingly unbelievable levels. The UK has adopted this crazy deal day, but things aren’t always as they seem.

Some shops will manufacture products purely for Black Friday, and therefore you get what you pay for. Beware deals that seem just too good to be true. Often electrical items are the goods with the most appealing prices, but be careful as imported products may not be as safe as you might hope.

Faulty electrical products cause hundreds of fires every year. Recently we heard about exploding hoverboards and earlier in the year overheating EE powerbars. Often the problems come from non-UK standard plugs and chargers that get too hot and either explode or set fire to anything around them.

As a customer you have the right to return any faulty product for either a refund, replacement or repair. This also applies for items bought on Black Friday. Sometimes shops will reduce the price of an item if it is damaged, and say you can’t return it. You can return an item if a fault is found that isn’t connected to the damage you were already aware of when you bought it.

No matter what, if the product you buy is faulty or doesn’t work as advertised, you can return it. The Consumer Rights Act (CRA) 2015 states that all goods bought in shops must:

  • Be of a satisfactory quality and of a standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory.
  • Be fit for purpose.
  • Match the description, sample of model. If you rely on a description to make your purchase then the goods supplied must match that description.

If any of the above are not met then return the item and ask for a refund, repair or replacement – whichever you choose and is suitable for the retailer.

If you buy online on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, the digital version of Black Friday, then you are still covered by the CRA. You still have the right to return items bought online, no matter what the reason. Items bought online are covered by the Distance Selling Regulations which state that your right to cancel an order starts the moment you place your order and doesn’t end until seven working days from the day after you receive your goods. At the seven day point you can decide to return the item, but the seller can’t demand the return within the seven days.

There are some items that you can’t return if you’ve bought them online. These include:

  • CDs, DVDs or software if you've broken the seal on the wrapping,
  • perishable and other items that deteriorate rapidly such as food and flowers,
  • tailor-made or personalised goods, or
  • underwear and earrings.

So whether you hit the shops or the internet for your Black Friday bargains, keep in mind that sometimes the price you pay reflects the quality of the product. Check UK safety standards are met and that the plugs and wires on electrical products are safety marked. Plugs should have BS 1363 on the back to show they meet the British Standard.

You have the right to compensation if you are injured by a faulty product or if the product you are using isn’t fit for purpose. If you have been injured by a product you can claim damages from the manufacturer. If you would like legal advice regarding your rights as a consumer or if you have been injured by a product, please contact our team at Slater and Gordon Lawyers.

Call us on freephone 0800 112 4924 or contact us online and we will call you back.


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